Your mom was right: Your tone matters. And now that most business introductions happen online, it matters more than ever.
That’s because your website represents your business personality. Without the luxury of personally greeting every online visitor, you’ve got to rely on your website to do the talking.
But this is about more than just your words. This is also about your tone.
That’s because just as important as what you say is the way you say it. Your tone speaks volumes about who you are as a business.
Think of your tone as your online body language.
Without proper attention to tone, your business personality might get lost in translation. For example, a technical expert might come across online as cluttered and stiff. A warm, enthusiastic professional can be misconstrued as amateurish. Unfortunately, the wrong tone can turn away prospects.
So how can you set the right tone for your website?
Let’s take a peek at the process we followed for a Houston-based cyber security company, Elevated Cyber Security. Its website at www.elevatedcybersec.com is a dead ringer for the personality of the company.
#1 Define your identity and purpose.
We asked many questions of the company, starting with this fundamental question: “Who are you?”
We quickly learned that all four leaders are military veterans with over 15 years of IT experience. They tackle cyber security with the same hard-hitting approach and uncompromising values that defined them in the military. And they’re certain that this is what distinguishes them from other cyber companies.
With an identity this well-defined, the tone that is needed for their website was clear. It should be bold, tough, and straight-shooting – with lots of references to their military background.
Here’s how the company is introduced in the “About” page.
Let’s start by getting three things straight with your cyber enemies.
They’ll have to get through us to get to you.
And we’re not intimidated by cyber battle.
We’re military veterans who have been winning in combat for 20 years. Our team started out serving together on the USS Pioneer back in the day. That’s what shaped our values.
We’re also security experts with different perspectives of the IT industry. Government contracts, large oil and gas corporations, small and midsize businesses. Collectively, we’ve seen it all.
#2 Know your audience.
Next, you’ve got to really understand your ideal clients – to know what makes them tick. We asked the company several questions like, “Which of their deepest needs can you fulfill? What are their fears? Why might they hesitate to hire your company? What misconceptions might they have of your company?”
The leaders at Elevated Cyber Security honed in on their target clients. They described them as small to mid-sized business leaders who have a few common misconceptions: They believe their backup systems are sufficient and that they wouldn’t be able to afford more protection. They also think they’re too small to be a cyber target anyways.
The company leaders explained that they needed to instill some necessary fear. They wanted to shake these small businesses out of a false sense of security.
Armed with this insight, the same bold tone was used to squash these misconceptions and to inspire action.
Here’s an excerpt from the home page.
Do you have tough skin?
Good. Because you need to hear the truth about your security.
90% of small and midsize businesses don’t protect their data. Even though data security is their top concern.
That’s a big mistake.
Because 62% of cyber victims are small and midsize businesses like yours. And 60% of you will go out of business within 6 months of an attack.
Tough skin isn’t enough to do business anymore
You need to protect your data with intelligent security solutions that you can afford. Because you can’t make a mistake with your data.
And here’s the rest of the “About” page.
We know their strategy.
We’re not fooled into thinking you’re an unlikely target. The hard truth is that 62% of cyber victims are small to mid-size businesses just like yours.
They’re gunning for you.
They know you don’t have the same resources as a large company. They know you think you’re okay. So they’re banking on the fact that you’re not prepared.
But there’s one thing they don’t know . . .
You have secret weapons.
Teaming up with us means leveraging the same weapons and tactics as a larger company. Even with a smaller budget.
Because this isn’t about sexy solutions. This is about honest results.
We won’t hold back or sugarcoat your situation. Good or bad, you’ll know what shape your network is in. You’ll understand your options. And then we’ll take swift action.
Together, we’ll execute internal network security, external network security, data protection, and compliance and training.
We’ve got your back. We’re at your front line. And we’re at your side.
Let’s do this.
#3 Be consistent.
When you know the best tone to represent your identity, apply it to every page of your website. Take every opportunity to reinforce who you are and what you’re all about.
That means crafting a great first impression on your “Home” page . . . .
Military Grade Protection for Your Data
This is headquarters for small and midsize businesses who want intelligent security solutions. We’re a team of military veterans and security experts who deliver straight talk and honest results.
. . . And it also means not overlooking opportunities like your “Contact” page. Even here, you can communicate your value.
Your enemies don’t take a break, so we won’t either.
Contact us any time. We’ll respond within 24 hours.
A lot goes into finding the right tone for your website. Start by defining your identity and purpose, knowing your audience, and being consistent. This way, your website will hit the best tone for your target clients!
Ella Ritchie is the founder of Stellar Communications Houston, a business communications and book publishing team that brings clarity, quality, and integrity to nonfiction authors, business leaders, nonprofit organizations, and federal government agencies. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Facebook, or check out the website for more information.